Lost to Coronavirus

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MARCH 26 — TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano issued the following statement:

"The death due to the Coronavirus of our brother, Peter Petrassi, is a terrible tragedy. TWU Local 100 feels this loss and mourns with his family. Conductor Petrassi’s passing is a line-of-duty death just as if he had been killed on the job in any number of ways that have struck down transit workers in years past. Transit workers are saddened. The MTA must NOW provide masks to frontline transit workers. Otherwise, the moment is rapidly approaching where bus and subway workers will do what is necessary to protect themselves and their families. Dedication and duty does not mean using transit workers as cannon fodder."


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MARCH 26 — We have lost a second union brother to the Coronavirus.  MaBSTOA Bus Operator Oliver Cyrus out of the Manhattanville Depot passed away today.  Local 100 Vice President Richard Davis, who has known Brother Cyrus for most of his 21 years on the job, said he was “a quiet, humble man.  He was well liked by all his co-workers.  The workers at Manhattanville are all very upset.  There's a somber mood at the depot.”

Brother Cyrus was born in Guyana and lived in Brooklyn. He was 61.

TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano said that this second death in one day “is such a terrible and incredibly sad loss.  My heart goes out to Brother Cyrus’ family and all his co-workers at Manhattanville Depot. Transit workers, Police, Firefighters, EMS and health care workers and other essential public employees have put themselves into harm's way for the greater good of our City and our society. They are true heroes.

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MARCH 29 — With the heaviest of hearts, TWU Local 100 is announcing that beloved Track Worker Scott Elijah died as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Scott, who joined NYC Transit 15 years ago, worked for the Combined Action/Emergency Response unit (CAT/ERT) out of Parsons/Archer in Queens. Scott also was Pastor of the Bethany AME Church in Yonkers.

“This is just horrible news,” Local 100 Track Division Chairman Carlos Albert said. “He was a great man. A family man. A strong union brother. The entire Track Division is in mourning.”

TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano extended his deepest condolences to Scott’s family on behalf of the entire membership. “To lose a third union Brother in four days to this menace of a virus is heartbreak on top of heartbreak,” Utano said. “I wish I had the words to say to bring comfort to Brother Elijah’s family, his friends and co-workers in Track. But I don’t. I can only wish that the support our union will bring to his family now and into the future will bring them strength in their moment of grief.”


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MARCH 29 — Overnight, we learned that Brother Ernesto Hernandez, 58, a Bus Operator out of Jackie Gleason Depot; Warren Tucker, an MTA Bus Maintainer, and Caridad Santiago, a Station Cleaner, died of the disease.

Brother Hernandez had 15 years on the job, while Brother Tucker, known as “Big Tuck” by his co-workers, was a 5-year veteran at the Central Maintenance Facility in East New York.  Sister Santiago had 13 years on the job, most recently as a night extra in the Bronx.

Local 100 President Tony Utano said that these latest deaths are “another gut punch to our union.  I implore everyone to keep these heroic co-workers and their families in our prayers.”

TAS Surface Vice President JP Patafio called Brother Hernandez “a kind man who was loved and respected by his co-workers and hard worker. His death is a shock to us all.”


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MTA Bus Vice President Peter Rosconi, who is quarantined at home after testing positive for the virus, said that Brother Tucker’s passing is “tough to take.  All of MTA is in mourning.”  Division Vice Chair Mike Capocci added, “he was such a sweetheart.  This is such a shame.”





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Stations Division Vice President Lynwood Whichard said that Sister Santiago’s passing is a “terrible loss to the Local 100 family.  She was a wonderful mother, loved by everyone.  We are all praying for her family to get through this time of grief.”





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A seventh Transit Worker, Patrick Patoir, a Maintainer Helper B at the Pitkin Barn, has passed away of the dreaded Coronavirus.

Brother Patoir was a 33-year veteran of the Car Equipment Department. He worked for more than 25 years at the Coney Island Overhaul shop, and for the past 6 years at Pitkin.

His family told the union that Patrick first called out sick on March 21, 2020. His condition worsened and he was admitted to the hospital on March 25th where doctors placed him on a ventilator, and later put him into a medically induced coma. His wife called today to say that her husband had died.

Local 100 Administrative Vice President Nelson Rivera said that he worked with Patrick years ago when he first started in CED as a Helper. “He was a wonderful person, and a great union Brother who always stepped up to the plate for Local 100.”

CED Vice President Shirley Martin, who has known Patrick since she first started 29 years ago, echoed those sentiments. “Patrick was one of the most beautiful souls I have ever known. He was always the first to help. If you wanted something done, ask Patrick,” she said. “Everyone at Pitkin is in mourning. Many of his co-workers where in tears when they found out.”

Patrick’s brother, Wendell, is a Machinist at the Coney Island Wheel and Axle Shop. He leaves behind his grieving wife, and four children.


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APRIL 1 — TWU Local 100 has lost another good union Brother to the Coronavirus scourge.  Brother Raul Clarke was a Bus Operator for the Big Bus Tour Bus company.  Brother Clarke passed away on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.  He had been with the company since 2016 and was a well liked, well respected man and Union Brother.

James Hoffman, a Local 100 Shop Steward at Big Bus, said that Brother Clarke was "a friendly warm presence at the company.   I always looked forward to working with him  He was quick with a laugh, reliable with the safety of everyone on his bus, and a joy to do a loop with. We will all miss him very much."


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TWU Local 100 is mourning the passing of Phyllis Susan Holley, the older sister of Power Division Vice Chair Richard Holley. Phyllis has been a Conductor in the subways for the past four years after retiring from a career in the U.S. Post Office. Her husband, William had been caring for her at home as she battled virus-like symptoms. She passed away overnight at the age of 61.

Brother Holley said that the family is devastated by his sister’s passing. They are also praying for their brother, a Metro North employee, who is in the hospital with a confirmed case of the Coronavirus.

Vice President John Chiarello said that “all of MOW is praying for Richie’s family. Richie is a great union officer who has helped and supported this membership for years. Now, he needs our support to help him get through this time of grief for himself and his family,”

Local 100 President Tony Utano, himself a member of the Power Department and a close friend of Brother Holley, said: “Richie has a beautiful, closeknit family. I know this is a very difficult time for them, and we should all remember them in our thoughts and prayers.”


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A ninth New York City Transit Worker, and tenth Local 100 member overall, has passed away of the dreaded Coronavirus.  Robert Sarutto, 59, was one of several members at the TEMM Jay St. crew quarters who had called out sick from the virus.   His condition worsened in recent days and he died at his home in Staten Island. Brother Sarutto had 23 years on the job in the Elevator and Escalator Department.

Ralph Arpaio, a close friend and co-worker said of Brother Sarutto: “He was dedicated and hard working. He was always the first one to jump in and help another.  He had a great sense of humor and a big smile on his face all the time. He was a good hearted guy, loved by all and will be greatly missed.”

He leaves behind his grieving wife, Roxanne, and a host of friends and co-workers in MOW.

MOW Vice President John Chiarello said, “this is a terrible blow to LE/S and all of our 8,000 workers in MOW.  We are all praying for his wife, Roxanne, and will continue to be there for her and his loved ones."

Local 100 President Tony Utano said that Brother Sarutto’s passing “is another heartbreak for Maintenance of Way and all of Local 100.   We are all devasted by the mounting losses in Local 100 and across our City and country.  I ask that all in Local 100 pray for Brother Sarutto’s family and friends during their time of grief.”


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The union sadly announces the passing of Alejandro Bustamante, a School Bus driver for the First Mile Square School Bus Company in Yonkers, NY.  Brother Bustamante is the 11th Local 100 member, and first from our School Bus Division, to die of the Coronavirus plague.  Brother Bustamante had been with Mile Square since 2014 and was a resident of Yonkers.

Sandra Claderon, a friend and co-worker whose own daughter was transported to school on Brother Bustamante’s bus, said: “Alejandro took my daughter to school safely every day.  He was responsible, respectful and always smiling.  He was a very religious person who was very involved with his church.  He will be deeply missed by all at Mile Square.”

School Bus Division Chair Gus Moghrabi said that Brother Bustamante’s death “has hit our Division hard.  We are all extremely upset about his passing, and extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

Local 100 President Tony Utano echoed those sentiments, and add: “Alejandro’s death is a stark reminder that this blight affects every corner of America, and every segment of our society.  We all mourn with his family and his co-workers at Mile Square.”


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APRIL 3 — TWU Local 100 regret-fully announces the death of Bus Operator Cesar Torres, a 20-year veteran of Fresh Pond and Grand Avenue Depots.

He was only 55 years old and died of the Cornonavirus after going out sick in recent days.  He is the 10th NYCT Transit Worker and 12th TWU Local 100 member overall to succumb to the disease.

Grand Avenue Depot Chair Clarence Patterson said that Brother Torres was "a wonderful guy, very family oriented, and always in a good mood.  The Depot is in shock.  Everyone is in a very somber mood.  Our Brother's death really puts this health crisis into focus; it really hits home."

TAS Vice President JP Patafio said that Brother Torres was "a loving father and husband who was always smiling and very nice to everyone."

Local 100 President Tony Utano offered his condolences to the Torres family. "I am heartbroken for the loss of another one of our fellow members.  Please remember Brother Torres and all his co-workers at Grand Avenue in your prayers."


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The Local 100 Car Equipment Division has lost its second union Brother to the Coronavirus scourge. 

Road Car Inspector Lev Golubov, 58, died on April 5, 2020 after being hospitalized with the virus on March 24

He had seven years on the job at Corona Barn.

Brother Golubov is survived by his grieving wife, Larissa, and 15-year old daughter, Josephina.

CED Vice President Shirley Martin said, “I’m heartbroken over this loss for our Department.  This is a very sad time for our Brothers and Sisters at Corona Barn and across our union.”

Administrative Vice President Nelson Rivera, who served as the Division Vice President for 10 years, echoed Sister Martin’s sentiments. “CED is a close knit family.  We are all feeling these losses to our union very deeply.”

Local 100 President Tony Utano asked all in Local 100 to pray for Brother Golubov’s family.  “Today is Palm Sunday, and this time of year is deeply sacred for so many of us. May we all weather this terrible storm and come out stronger when it is past.”


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A beloved Collecting Agent, Daryl Laborde, 56, has died of complications from the Coronavirus.  Brother Laborde’s sister, Sharon, informed the union that he passed on April 4, 2020.  He had gone out sick on March 23, 2020. He joined transit in September 2014.

Brother Laborde leaves behind a grieving family, including 6 children and 10 grandchildren.

Stations Division Vice President Lynwood Whichard, said: “Daryl was extraordinarily helpful to others, including the passengers.  He was always friendly every time you saw him.  What a good guy.  He will be missed.  He was a definite asset to everyone.”

Local 100 President Tony Utano asked the membership to “pray for his family and all transit workers and their families during this crisis.”


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Kingsbridge Depot has suffered its first loss to the Coronavirus.  Bus Operator William Scott, 51, passed away over the weekend.  He had been on the job since August 2014.

Kingsbridge Depot Chair Richard Fields said that Brother Scott “was a very nice guy, very popular.  Everyone liked him.  He had a lot of interests.  He loved music.  He was a great singer, and he was hoping to come out with an album of his songs.  This is very sad news for everyone at Kingsbridge.”

MaBSTOA Vice President Richard Davis said that Brother Scott’s death, the second OA Bus Operator to die of the virus, “is gut-wrenching for everyone across the Division.  We are all in mourning.”

Local 100 President Tony Utano added, “we are doing everything possible to provide a safer work place for Bus Operators and all transit workers.  The death of Brother Scott is a heartbreaking reminder that we must work even harder.”


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Train Operator Darlisa C. Nesbitt, a 26-year veteran with NYCT, passed away of the dreaded virus on April 2, 2020.  She worked most recently at Pitkin Yard in Brooklyn.  She was only 51.

Her heartbroken 88-year old mother, Dorris, and niece, Marlisa, said that Sister Nesbitt “loved her job” and “talked about it all the time.”  They said that she also appreciated the union, which had been “very supportive over the years.”

Sister Nesbitt was the youngest of four children, a lifelong resident of Brooklyn, and a member of the First Calvary Baptist Church. Her late father had been the pastor of the Bethesda Baptist Church for 52 years. In addition to her mother and her niece, Nesbitt is survived by her 14-year old daughter, Skye Irving, who they called “her love.”   Her mother called the loss “devastating” and said “it happened so fast."  She added that the family is “praying for the safety of everyone” during these difficult times.

RTO Vice President Eric Loegel said: “These are extremely hard times for all of us, but no one has it harder than the families of our Brothers and Sisters taken by this virus. My heart goes out to them, and as a union we’ll be here to support them in any way we can.” Our Brothers and Sisters and their loved ones will not be forgotten.”

Local 100 President Tony Utano underscored those sentiments, saying: “Sister Nesbitt, and all other transit workers who have been lost to this plague, will never be forgotten.  We can only hope that Holy Week can bring us all a new hope for an end to this tragedy.”


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RTO is mourning the loss of another union Brother to the Coronavirus. Steve Joseph Rybkin, 59, worked as a Construction Flagger until going out sick on March 19, 2020. He was confirmed positve for the Coronavirus a week later. He died on April 5, 2020 at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh, NY. Brother Rybkin had 23 years on the job.

He was a parishioner of St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church in LaGrangeville and a member of the Hudson Valley Sportsmen’s Association. He is survived by his wife of 17 years, Michelle Garcia-Rybkin; his sons, Stephen Rybkin, Jr., and Gabriel; dauther, Jessica; his brothers, Paul, Michael and John Rybkin, and sister Ludmila Weistreich. Also, his goddaughter, Maryann Leibmann; and many nieces and nephews.

Local 100 President Tony Utano offered his condolences to the family and Brother Rybkin’s friends and co-workers on the job. “Every death of one of our Brother and Sister Transit Workers from this terrible disease gets more and more difficult to comprehend. With Thursday being Passover and Holy Thursday, and Sunday being Easter, I am hoping that this week will be the beginning of the end of this fight.”


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APRIL 8 — Local 100's Track Division has suffered another terrible loss to the Coronavirus. Trackworker Juan Diaz, just 42 years old with a wife and two young children, died of virus on April 3, 2020.

His heartbroken brother, Kevin, a Bus Operator at Queens Village Depot, said that Juan "made the ultimate sacrifice for this job. He loved the job, and respected the job and his co-workers."

"He was all about his family." said Kevin "He has a 4-year old and a baby. He didn't even make it to the baby's first birthday. We're all devastated."

Brother Diaz was a graduate of Brentwood High School and worked for Chase Bank for many years before joining NYCT in 2016, and the Track Department in 2018. Kevin said that his brother "played sports in high school. He loved the Knicks, Yankees and Giants. He was the kind of guy everyone would love to have a beer with, and now he's gone."

Track Vice Chair Nick Danza said that Brother Diaz was "a really nice guy, a gentleman, a quiet young man, everyone liked him. I remember he had a child last year and I helped with the process of getting his paid paternity leave. This is terrible." Track Chair Carlos Albert said, "this is another crushing blow to Track. We're all praying for his family."

Vice President John Chiarello agreed, saying: "All of Maintenance of Way feels this loss. We're going to do everything we can to help his family."

President Tony Utano said, "we're never going to stop fighting for the families of our Brothers and Sisters lost to this horrifying disease. Please remember Brother Diaz' beautiful family in your thoughts and prayers."


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The Local 100 School Bus Division is mourning the death to the Coronavirus of Bus Driver Bryson Kent Bowman. Brother Bowman, 59, worked for Student Transportation of America (STA) since 2017 safely transporting children to school and back home for Greenwich, CT Schools. He is the second member of the School Bus Division to succumb to the deadly virus. He passed away on April 4, 2020 at Stamford Hospital in Stamford, CT.

Co-worker Mary Pryce, who is an elected member of the Local 100 Executive Board, said that Brother Bowman “was always a cheerful person. He greeted everyone with that huge smile, and when he got off his bus at the end of a shift heading to the office, he always had love for everyone. He loved talking about sports with his co-workers, and was a true Yankee fan. We are really going to miss him.”

Brother Bowman is survived by his wife, Patricia, and four children – two girls and two boys.

Local 100 President Tony Utano said: “We all offer our condolences and prayers for Brother Bowman’s family, his friends and co-workers at STA, and to every member and officer of our School Bus Division.”